Trey Hill is an accomplished pro photographer and storyteller, shooting for many different clients, the most exciting of which (for me) is the Dallas Stars hockey team.
Making the work personal (image courtesy of Trey Hill)
A few months ago he posted an article on his blog called “Making the work personal” (please click here to go to his blog and read the entire thing). His advice… “make the work personal”. Some of the best advice that photographers have given over countless interviews is “always shoot personal work/projects“. Do it to keep your eyes fresh, to shoot what you are passionate about, and to keep your head in the game. Pretty soon, after shooting what you love to shoot for yourself, you will have clients asking you to do the same thing for them. Check out what Chase Jarvis says about it here on his blog too.
Jaromir Jagr (image courtesy of Trey Hill)
What Trey has come up with though is a new way to do personal work all the time, by making the work personal through what you’re shooting for your clients. What that allows you to do is get deeper into your project, and make it come alive with relationships and images that you didn’t necessarily plan on, but that make the project what it is; and possibly even better than you had envisioned it in the first place. Hell, most of my personal projects started out as a small vision, and it’s exciting to watch as they escalate into something huge. I have one going currently that involves hockey goaltenders, and I’m sure this one will be continuing for years – but when it’s done, it’s going to be amazing! What I want to put into practice is making the work personal, and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
Mike Modano (center), putting on his sweater for the final time (image courtesy of Trey Hill)
The work that Trey has done for The Stars, and hockey in general, is amazing to me. Three of my favorite articles of his are listed here of Jaromir Jagr, Mike Modano, and Karlis Skrastins (one of 43 that were killed in the tragic Lokomotiv (KHL) plane crash on September 7, 2011).
Karlis Skrastins | “Karlis was one of those guys who… played through the pain & never complained” – Stephane Robidas (image courtesy of Trey Hill)
Read those articles. Pay attention. Soak it in. THAT is how you tell stories! Definitely something to aspire to. And, one day, I hope to shoot alongside him in Dallas.